Editor's Note: This is a monthly publication on economic trends and financial policy issues. In this publication you can read "The Longbrake Letter", an analysis of economic trends and conditions written by Bill Longbrake, as well as commentary on financial regulation and policy written by members of the law firm Barnett, Sivon & Natter, P.C., a Washington, DC based law firm that specializes in financial services law. The lawyers in the firm are also counsel to the international law firm, Squire Patton Boggs.

ISSUE: #73, July/August 2016

The Longbrake Letter
- Bill Longbrake
Britain's vote to leave the European Union is already having negative consequences in the U.K., but the rest of the world has yawned and “risk-on” animal spirits are back in vogue as the U.S. stock and bond markets hit all-time highs. Otherwise not much has changed in the U.S. Productivity and economic growth remain weak and inequality is worsening, but employment growth is strong. Populism and nationalism increasingly is impacting politics in the U.S. and other countries. In the July-August letter, Bill Longbrake discusses the policy flaws embedded in economic neoliberalism, which espouses free movement of capital and fiscal austerity. He also explains why interest rates are very low and are likely to remain so for a very long time. Special topics include Italy's banking crisis, Japan's revamping of Abenomics, and unexpectedly large inventory destocking in the U.S.

Here We Go Again – Subprime Lending and Innovative Mortgages
- Ray Natter
The Dodd-Frank Act was intended to raise mortgage underwriting standards and limit the use of innovative mortgage terms. Nevertheless, the FHFA recently proposed a regulation that would require Fannie and Freddie to get back into the subprime business and develop new innovative mortgages to increase home ownership. Is FHFA bringing back the discredited practices of the past?

The CHOICE Act Would Fundamentally Alter Rulemaking Process for Federal Financial Regulators
- Jim Sivon
The CHOICE Act would rebalance the current relationship between Congress and the federal financial regulatory agencies. However, there are some alternative actions Congress could take that would be more effective, especially the allocation of sufficient resources to perform effective oversight of agency operations and activities.